Phonesense, Nonsense and Twenty-Five Cents — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 109 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I couldn’t say I tweet because her father’s ghost told me to. I thought of something else. “We tweet so that we can get up again.” “Huh?”

I don’t think she bought it. “That makes no sense at all. Get up from where?” She had a point. I would have settled for getting out of jail.

I tried again “How about this: ‘I tweet therefore I am.’ That means that what I tweet defines who I am.” Big Guy said “Yeah? Tweet this.”

The grumbling behind me intensified. Regi said “I tweet therefore I am? So you don’t exist right now?” “No. I exist, I’m just not tweeting.

“You’re not tweeting because you’re in jail.” At that cell lights went dark, leaving only a lamp above the pay phone. “I know I’m in jail.”

Some prisoners on benches snored. Others hissed “Shut UP!” I whispered “They’re holding me over til morning when I go before the judge.”

“You have to post bail to get me out.” “I’ll be there.” The line behind me pressed forward again. Then Regi said “I have one last question.”

“Yes?” “Why am I tweeting?” “It’s a long story.” Someone back in line said “Time m#4ther f@cker! Get off the damn phone!” “I SAID A MINUTE!”

“My tweets are evidence of the paradigm shift.” Regi said “What’s a paradigm shift, a designer dress?” Big Guy said “What paradigm shift?”

“A paradigm shift is a change in the way we view reality.” Regi said “Tell me again in plain English.” Big Guy said “What paradigm shift?”

“How about this: Do you believe the Earth is flat or round?” “Both.” Big Guy said “Round asshole.” I covered the phone and hissed “Quiet!”

To Regi I said “Huh?” “I KNOW the Earth is round, but I live on it as if it’s flat.” Big Guy said “What does it matter what she believes?”

I ignored him and asked Regi “What do you mean?” She said “I don’t believe I’d fall off the Earth’s edge if I travel too far east or west.”

Did Regi think the world rode on a big turtle? What about the elephants? “But you WOULD fall off a flat Earth!” “Not if I stop soon enough.”

Regi asked “Why don’t I fall off a round Earth?” “Because of gravity!” “An invisible force keeping me from floating away? Give me a break!”

Someone muttered “Damn flatland bitch.” I turned in response “NO SHE’S NOT!” “What was that?” “Nothing. Comments from my fellow detainees.”

I continued “You don’t believe in gravity?” “I’ll believe it when I see it.” A voice says “Deposit 25 cents to continue.” I dug for change.

Whispers of anticipation came from those waiting line behind me. “His money has run out!” “He’s out of change!” “He’s finished!” “Hooray!”

There! One last coin! “This is my last quarter” I said as the two-bit piece went “Clink!” in the phone receptacle. Several in line groaned.

No matter. I had a few precious minutes more to get Regi to see reason. “OK. Try this: Does the Sun circle the Earth or vice versa?” “Both.”

That didn’t do it. “Really?” “Yes. I KNOW the Earth orbits the Sun. I live the opposite.” Big Guy said “Hey man, save this for the judge.”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Why Do We Tweet? — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

 Here are Week 108 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

They looked doubtful. “I’ve spent my career putting lowlifes like you guys in places like this. I know something about guilt and innocence.”

Scowling, Big Guy said “No need to get personal. You don’t know me.” Everyone nodded or said “Me too.” “Yet here you all are.” “You too.”

This discussion wasn’t getting us anywhere. I wasn’t convincing them of my innocence. They weren’t convincing me of their not-guilty-ness.

I considered pressing the issue but I happened to be the only ex-cop in the holding cell. The odds weren’t good that my point would prevail.

It was my turn to call. Depositing a quarter, I dialed my own phone. Regi picked up “Hello?” “Hi Regi.” “Arkaby? How are you calling me?”

“You’re my one phone call. Are you coming to bail me out?” “Uh, sure! On my way!” What a relief! I didn’t relish spending the night in jail.

With Regi on the job my jail time was finite. She was one focused on getting it done! Then she said “Why is the ringtone ‘Brown Eyed Girl’?”

Huh? My ringtone? Behind me a guy muttered “Hurry up.” I replied “I like ‘Brown Eyed Girl.'” Big Guy said “I bet.” Other inmates snickered.

Regi said “You know my eyes are blue don’t you?” A trick question? “Uh sure! I just like that song.” Someone behind me said “Hurry up, man!”

I gave him a look. “What about ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’?” What were we talking about? “What about it?” “‘She’s got eyes of the bluest skies…'”

“That’s good too.” Someone yelled “Get off the phone!” I displayed a finger. “‘I’d hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain.'”

“Still quoting Guns N’ Roses?” “Just saying it would make a good ring tone.” “Got it.” Big Guy says “Are you getting music on that phone?”

I covered phone and said “I’ll finish in a minute.” Regi said “Where do we go, where do we go?” “GOT IT!” “No seriously. Where do we go?”

Big Guy said “Yeah, you got it all right.” Others waiting in line pressed forward. “Regi, I’m calling on a payphone in my communal cell.”

Shoved up against the phone I said “There’s a line waiting behind me that’s, let’s say, impatient.” My cellmates chanted “Hang up! Hang up!”

Bracing against the wall, I continued “Get me out of here to a warm safe place and I’ll figure out where do we go.” “Get off the phone!”

“Are you still tweeting?” “Of course I am.” Clasping the phone handset between my cheek and shoulder, I shrugged my jacket off once again.

There’s a place you go in your mind at times like these. “Is that why you take so long to answer me? “Yes.” I couldn’t shift my balance.

Why did they push me up against the wall? “You have to finish our conversation and then tweet it afterwards.” I didn’t know what to expect.

Regi said “OK. Why do I have to tweet everything?” Anticipating possibilities, I turned sideways and said “I’LL BE DONE IN A MINUTE!” “Huh?”

Uh oh. Had I just yelled that into the phone? Everyone in line took a step back. “I was speaking to the guy behind me.” “Why do we tweet?”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Celly Season — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 107 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I stood center cell and shouted ‘Someone better move over!'” “You challenged the entire cell? What happened?” “Nothing. They went to sleep.”

“They ignored you?” “Contrary to popular opinion most prisoners aren’t interested in fighting, especially when they already have the bench.”

“What did you do?” “I got in line to call you on the pay phone.” “You sounded like you were fighting then.” “I don’t remember it that way.”

“Check your Twitter history. I tweeted everything like you asked.” I scroll back to check Regi’s posts. Browneyed Girl. Sweet Child ‘O Mine.

“If I didn’t have Arkaby I don’t know what I do.” Regi circles Body Parts R Us while tweeting. A “reverse Joker?” Ah here’s the phone fight!

Reading Regi’s tweets from yesterday reminds me of my time in the holding cell. I forgot standing in that long line to make my one call.

The one call rule wasn’t enforced by corrections cops. It was enforced by the other prisoners waiting their turn to call before lights out.

The length of your one call was determined by the quarters you had in your pockets after they confiscated your wallet and other belongings.

With no place to sit, I counted the quarters left in my pocket. Someone tapped me from behind. “Hey! Didn’t you used to be a cop?” he said.

“Criticize me all you want. I get the job done.” He was big and broad and he wasn’t interested in making a new friend. “Who wants to know?”

Several detainees raised their hands. “I’m not a cop anymore. Did I put any of you behind bars?” Everyone looked away or dropped his head.

Big Guy said “Take it easy ‘Not a cop anymore.’ We’re not here to cast stones. Bygones. We just wonder what brings you to our humble abode.”

“Why am I here?” I looked around the cell crowded with recumbent detainees, a single commode/sink and one pay phone. “Vengeance.” I said.

They all moved away a little. Big Guy said “Payback? Against who?” “Against me.” They retreated a bit further. “You busted yourself?”

“Huh?” “You are hardcore! How did you do it? Was it a clash of wills? Did you make yourself suffer? How did you overcome your resistance?”

“I can’t take credit for my apprehension.” “You’re too modest!” “Really. This is all payback by my former boss to justify HIS apprehension.”

After a silent moment Big Guy said “Wait. What?” Another detainee asked “You’re the new boss, same as the old boss? That’s fucked up, man.”

I said “You got it wrong. I’m no boss. I didn’t put myself in here. I’m innocent.” “Me too.” “Me too.” Everyone nodded or raised his hand.

I shook my head. “No seriously. I’m innocent. I was set up by a spiteful person.” “Me too.” “Me too.” Everyone nodded or raised his hand.

The call line inched forward. Big Guy said “We’re all innocent ’til proven guilty.” “Yeah, but I’m especially innocent!” “Me too.” “Me too.”

“What they say you did?” “They say I vaporized a guy.” “Vapor-what?” “The victim was dissolved.” “No shit? How’d you do that?” “I didn’t!”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

The Wrong Side of the Lollipop — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 106 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“You’re out no matter what happens with your case.” “We’ll see. Regi, are you still tweeting?” “Yes.” “I want a record. Tweet this.” “I am.”

Rixey says “Birdbrains of a feather tweet together” and walks away. I say “Where to now Arkaby?” “We go solve Farley Granger’s murder.”

“I’ll take over phone duties.” “Good. I don’t want to tweet while driving.” “So let me have the phone.” “One minute. Just finishing up.”

Time to pass the torch. Better than carrying one. “Regi.” “A moment.” So much left unsaid, or to put it another way left untweeted. “Regi?”

“You don’t have to do that.” “Almost done.” Twitter has been a distraction but at the same time I’m tempted to start my own account. Not!

It’s only been a day, but I feel like I’ve tweeted on this damn thing for weeks! How does Arkaby do it? He says “Regi?” Why does he do it?

Why does he document everything that happens to him? Is tweeting addicting? Has time in jail changed him? Has it increased his street cred?

“Regi!” Arkaby’s clearly impatient to get his phone back. Or maybe it’s that I’m driving while I tweet? “REGI!” “OK!” The rest is silence.

To be free again, first you have to be imprisoned. Not that I recommend jail as the path to liberation, but it is better to be out than in.

I buckle into shotgun as Regi peels her hatchback away from the Detention Center parking lot. I say “Slow down. I just got out of jail.”

Regi says “I knew that. Was it bad?” “Yep.” How do I explain? Like many cops, I’ve spent my time putting people who offend me behind bars.

Regi glances at my tweet. “Offend you?” “I mean social offenders. It was strange to be on the wrong side of the lollipop.” “You mean law?”

“The law just got on the wrong side of me.” “Arkaby, you’re no longer a cop. How will you find Farley’s killer now?” “I’ll figure it out.”

“Let’s get me some clothes and food and then we’ll decide the next step.” “OK. What happened to you in jail? What happened to your clothes?”

“I got into a fight.” “There were others in your cell?” “Not where you found me. Originally I was put in a cell with twenty other perps.”

“I’ve never heard of twenty prisoners in a single cell.” “It was an overnight holding cell because we were too late to see the judge.”

“Were there twenty beds?” “Just benches.” “You spent the night stretched out on a bench?” “I wish. Some detainees grabbed them first thing.”

“They took all the benches?” “They stretched out along each bench and then some others crawled underneath and stretched out on the floor.”

“There’s a place you go in your mind at times like these. You don’t know why they hog all the benches. You don’t know what to expect.”

“Anticipating possibilities, I turned sideways to shrink my target area, shifted my heels and bent my knees to lower my center of gravity.”

“You didn’t shed clothing, did you?” “Well, they had confiscated my tie and belt, so I just removed my jacket and wrapped it around my arm.”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Juicy! — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues


Here are Week 105 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Mom comes over and says “Who are you talking to?” “Arkaby called and his phone started talking to us.” “The phone?” “Yes.” “Give it to me.”

“Who is this? Huh? Just a minute.” She touches the screen several times. “Now who is this?” She hands the phone back. “It’s Arkaby for you.”

Arkaby says “Hello phone?” “It’s me.” “Why isn’t the phone talking anymore?” “I don’t know. Mom, what did you do?” “I turned it off.” “Ah.”

How can I be sure the phone assistant is really off? It could be playing dumb, lurking and taking in everything I say. I could get paranoid.

“Arkaby, how can we be sure the phone agent is offline?” “We can’t. Come get me.” “But if it’s eavesdropping?” “I don’t care. Come get me.”

“How are you calling a second time?” “A borrowed quarter. Does it matter? I spent the night in jail. I’ve been before a judge. Come get me.”

“Deposit 25 cents to continue.” “Ah!” “Is that the cellphone assistant?” “That was the pay phone operator. Quick! Come get me. Bring pants!”

“What happened to your pants?” “It’s a long story. Bring something.” “I’m on my way.” Arkaby hangs up. I say “Are you still there?” Silence.

I grab a pair of pants, kiss Mom goodbye and I’m off. Pulling out of the driveway, I knock over our mailbox. I shouldn’t tweet and drive.

At the City Lockup I find a near-naked Arkaby, cooling his heels (and probably the rest of his body), in a grungy looking holding cell.

The Desk clerk is busy with paperwork. I say to the Desk Clerk. “How much for bail?”The clerk says “No bail.” “You mean he can’t get out?”

“The Judge released him without bail.” He nods toward Arkaby’s cell. “He won’t leave the way he is.” “You mean in his undies?” “Yeah.”

He spots my bundle. “Oh good you brought clothing. Maybe we can spring him now.” “Why did you strip him?” “We didn’t. I’ll let him tell it.”

He presses a button to unlock Arkaby’s cell. “Go ahead, it’s open..” he says “I can’t leave this desk.” I walk up to the cell. “Hey Arkaby!”

He looks awful. Purplish bruises shine from one cheek. His hair is disheveled, his eyes bloodshot. He wears nothing but a tank T and boxers

He gets to his feet. “Hey Regi! You’re a sight for sore eyes.” I give him a quick hug. “You’re a mess. What happened?” “I’ve been in jail.”

Arkaby shivers. “You’re freezing. Put these on.” He holds the pants up and reads the back. “You brought me sweatpants that say ‘Juicy’?”

“That’s OK. They’ve never been worn.” “That’s not what I’m worried about.” Nonetheless, he puts the pants on. I say “Juicy!” “Not funny.”

Arkaby retrieves his belongings and we leave the Detention Complex. Rixey meets us on the steps outside. He hands Arkaby a set of papers.

“What’s this?” Rixey smirks and then puts on a serious face. “Your termination papers. See you in court, Juicy.” I say “You can’t do this!”

Arkaby says “I’ll handle this. Rixey, you can’t terminate me while my case is pending.” “I can and do. You’re already under suspension.”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

A Little Synthetic Skin and No One Will Know! — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 104 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I wake in the dark. What time is it? Arkaby’s phone says 8:10. To my horror I realize I’ve tweeted in my sleep. I’ve been dream-tweeting.

I fell asleep! Why didn’t anyone come wake me up? Arkaby beside me says “Maybe they thought you needed the rest.” “What are you doing here?”

“I’m not here. You’re still dreaming. I’m waiting for you to bail me out.” “Am I also dreaming I’m tweeting in my sleep?” “No. That’s real.”

“How can I tweet if I’m asleep?” “You’ve invented a way of communicating using social media and theta waves: Dreeting. Or perhaps Tweaming.”

“I don’t WANT to be Tweaming!” “You promised to tweet for me!” Arkaby begins to fade. “NOT while I’m asleep!” “Remember me!” He disappears.

I open my eyes. Am I awake? Arkaby’s phone is in my hand. I say “Seriously?” The phone says “I didn’t catch that.” Great. I’m still asleep.

The phone says “I didn’t catch that. You can ask me to…” The screen displays a list of commands. I say “How did I tweet in my sleep?”

The phone says “I found these sites on sleeping and tweeting…” and then lists a number of web sites. “I don’t want to know how, but why.”

The phone says “OK I found this on the web for ‘Why do people sleep while they tweet':” Another list of sites. “Never mind.” “Right, then.”

I argued with a cell phone about sleep-tweeting. I can’t sink any lower. The phone says “Lower than tweeting about sinking so low?” “Huh?”

“Hello?” Arkaby’s phone teased me for tweeting. I didn’t know iOS 8 did that. This is the first time I’ve been disparaged by an appliance.

Worse still, it’s following my tweets. The phone says “I’m not sure what you said.” That’s it. I’m leaving the phone outside while I shower.

I’m back. I showered, changed into more presentable clothing and am eating, not a turkey club but a mushroom and cheese omelet. Thanks Mom!

I’m just finishing my coffee when Arkaby’s phone rings. After my recent experience with the phone talking to me I hesitate before answering.

A pause while I type this tweet. The phone keeps ringing. I answer. “Hello?” “Regi?” “Arkaby! Hi! How are you? How are you calling me?”

“On a phone. What took so long to pick up?” “Your phone’s acting weird.” “How so?” “It’s been talking to me.” “Oh. That’s the OS assistant.”

“No. Weirder than that. It’s actually talking.” “Yes. It does that.” The phone says “I’m also a good listener.” Arkaby and I both say “Huh?”

A good listener? Has the phone become sentient? Arkaby says “Who just said that?” I say “Your cell phone. Like I said, something’s weird.”

There’s a long silence. I say “Is either of you still there?” Arkaby and the phone both say “Still here. Just thinking. What? Who is that?”

Arkaby says “Was that my cellphone speaking?” “That’s what I was trying to tell you!” “Is it related to the malfunctioning IVR epidemic?”

A thought occurs to me. “Arkaby, I thought you only get one call in jail. How are you calling me twice?” The phone says “Yes. Explain that!”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

When is a Safe Room Not a Safe Room? — Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 103 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“H’s plnclths cp wth sprrty cmplx.” “A sporty complex?” “Nt sprty sprrty.” “I really hate you right now Uncle B.” “He saying ‘superiority’.”

I decide to ignore B for the moment. “Mom, how did Stuart Granger die?” “H ws xprmntng t fnd nw wys t stck hs hd p hs ss.” Still ignoring B.

B frowns. “V lrnd my lssn. Spk nly whn spkn t.” “Hold that thought. Mom, why didn’t you tell me about brother Stuart?” “It never came up.”

“It never came up that I have an identical triplet uncle, who may be my actual father?” “But probably, he’s not.” “What else never came up?”

B says “Hw mch tm hv y gt?” “Anyway, if Stuart is dead I am the last Granger.” “Xcpt fr yr brthr.” “What? I have a brother?” “Jst kddng.”

Mom says “Not at all funny B. Bunny, there is no brother.” “Are you sure?” “YES! You should rest.” “I can’t. I have to go bail Arkaby out.”

“At least change out of those bloody scrubs.” “I intend to. That’s why I’m here.” “I’ll whip up some food, you come down when you’re ready.”

I go to my room and strip off the scrubs, favoring my injured arm. My bed looks inviting, but I have things to do. I sit to remove my jeans.

While undressing I make a mental list. First thing is to shower. How do I protect my arm? Then a quick meal, get dressed and rescue Arkaby.

I could wrap my arm in cellophane or get one of those hospital sleeves. I could hold it outside the shower. Can I shower one-handed? Maybe.

If Mom brings me a sandwich I can wrap it in cellophane too. I wonder if she has turkey? I could really go for a turkey club. And a shower.

A turkey club would make a terrible weapon. I’d rather have a baseball bat or crowbar. What kinds of drinks do they serve at a crow bar?

That doesn’t make any sense. I’ve never been a crow drinking at a turkey club, but I’m suddenly ravenous. A dim light glows before me.

I am in Farley’s safe room. The air crackles with electricity. Farley stands in front of me, his arms spread wide as a vortex envelopes him.

I shout “Uncle Farley! What’s happening to you?” He says “I can’t talk right now. I’ll call you later.” “Wait!” He dissolves before my eyes.

In his place stands my father in orange prison garb. He says “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” “I don’t understand.” “You’re dreaming.”

“Impossible. I’m not asleep, I never dream and you just said ‘banana’.” “Look around. What do you see?” I look around Farley’s Safe Room.

The room is completely empty, like it was before Farley was sprayed across its walls and floor.  Ah! Empty, with nothing of survival value!

No food or water, no books or electronic equipment, no bedding, nothing to support someone seeking refuge for an unspecified period of time.

This room isn’t safe at all! I lose my balance as the walls shift. “Dad! What’s happening?” “The whole room isn’t spinning!” “I know that!”

Dad lifts his arms, just like Farley and begins to fade. “Wait! What’s it all about?” “This room is the figure. Look for the ground.” “Huh?”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)